Golda’s chicken soup recipe is in, horse-drawn carriages and smoking on stage are out


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Here are some stories from Israel that you may have missed:

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Golda’s chicken soup recipe a secret no longer

Golda Meir’s chicken soup recipe was declassified. 

The Israel State Archives this month released the late prime minister’s recipe, which was typed in English on a Foreign Ministry letterhead.

The upper left-hand corner of the page reads “Incoming Cable – Classified,”  which the state archives says is an optical illusion — someone copied the chicken soup document along with an unrelated one behind it in the file.

“Boil the chicken with parsley, celery, cut-up carrots, peeled onion, salt, pepper a pinch of paprika until the chicken is tender,” the recipe begins, with no quantities listed.

According to the archives, Meir hosted her closest allies for important discussions in her kitchen. Whether they got to taste her chicken soup is unknown.

Hold your horses … and donkeys

The not-so-unusual sight of horses and donkeys hauling items on some Israeli streets and highways may soon be a thing of the past.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has agreed to push for a nationwide ban on the practice, which has led to the mistreatment of the animals. Israel would be the first country to impose such a nationwide ban.

The Ministry of Transportation’s new regulations, which are awaiting approval by the finance minister, were suggested by Hakol Chai, or Everything Lives, the Israeli sister charity of the U.S.-based Concern for Helping Animals in Israel, or CHAI, which is part of the International Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

The animals typically haul furniture, scrap metal, rocks from construction sites, heavy produce such as watermelons to market and old clothing.

All the world’s a stage — including the no smoking sign

Snuff out those cigarettes on stage.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled this month in a class-action lawsuit led by a frequent theater-goer that the strict no smoking laws here also must be observed on stage in order to protect the public health. The right to health takes precedence over the right to freedom of expression, according to the court.

The suit was brought against the Haifa Municipal Theater over popular actress Orly Zilbershatz-Banai’s smoking during a 5 1/2-minute monologue during the play “Hamakom Mimenu Bati,” The Jerusalem Post reported. A photo of Zilbershatz-Banai during the smoking scene was featured in an announcement for the play on the theater’s website. 

The theater said it should be exempt from observing the no-smoking rule due to “freedom of expression.”

While the court sided with the complainants, it did not issue a fine to the theater. 

Her life is a winner at Poetry Slam

Charity, breastfeeding and couplehood were among the subjects of the winning entry at the popular Poetry Slam competition in Tel Aviv.

Zvia Margaliot, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Jerusalem, won the event held this month at the trendy Tel Aviv nightclub Levontin 7.

Margolit’s two original selections were “Charity Will Save From Death,” about her complex relationship with the poor of Jerusalem, and “A Third Breast,” about breastfeeding, couples and family, according to Haaretz.

Margaliot, 29, studied acting and works as a tour guide in Jerusalem, according to the newspaper. She also sings and plays the guitar, but mostly for women only.

School for future prophets opens

A school to train new Jewish prophets opened in a gentrified neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv. 

The Cain and Abel School of Prophets is run by Rabbi Shmuel Portman Hapartzi, who is affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch’s messianic stream, Ynet reported.

Ten students have registered for what Hapartzi calls the basic course, according to Ynet.

Prophecy historically ended with the destruction of the Second Holy Temple and is not supposed to return until the messianic age.

Hapartzi told Ynet that the beginning of the messianic age has arrived and that prophecy is now permitted.

The future prophets will take courses in face reading, dream interpretation and how angels communicate, and will learn how to achieve divine spirit, Ynet reported. The students may not necessarily become prophets upon completion of their coursework.

“It won’t just happen without a person being chosen from above,” Hapartzi said.

Flocking to see ‘Fill the Void’ — just not on Shabbat

Even without Shabbat screenings, “Fill the Void” has become the most popular Israeli movie of 2012.

In Israel, more than 182,000 people have seen the film — Israel’s entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign language category — though it is not shown on Friday nights and Saturdays in order to adhere to halachah, or Orthodox Jewish law. The independently distributed film was directed by Rama Burshtein, who is haredi Orthodox. 

The movie, about a young haredi Orthodox woman from Tel Aviv who must decide whether to marry her brother-in-law when her sister dies in childbirth, premiered in Israel in October. It won seven Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars, including best film and best director.

“Fill the Void” has been sold for distribution in 15 countries, including the United States, France, Holland, Britain, Spain and Australia.

Yoram Kanuik novel headed for TV

A novel by the popular Israeli writer Yoram Kanuik is being turned into a weekly half-hour satirical black comedy in the United States.

“Magic on Lake Kinneret,” or “Kesem Al Yam Kineret,” was optioned last month by New Regency following a deal signed early this year with Israel’s ADD company to export Israeli content to the United States, according to Shalom Life.

The book, which was first published in Hebrew in 1994, tells the story of a young woman who decides to live a new life of adventure on her own terms.

Other successful Israeli exports to the United States include “Homeland” and “In Treatment.”

Chess is king among research projects

Better living through chess — that’s the idea of an initiative to establish a project at the University of Haifa in collaboration with Boris Gelfand, an Israeli grandmaster.

The Grandmaster Chess Research Project is taking shape to develop an original academic approach to the skills and culture of chess playing that its creators believe will contribute to social and scientific development. It will include research on the correlation between chess and cognitive enhancement, as well as establish an international program for training chess instructors and coaches.

The project also is slated to develop the first Hebrew-language educational software program for teaching chess in schools and kindergartens.

“I am sure this will make our society better,” Gelfand, the vice world chess champion, said of the project. “I know people leading in intellectual professionals who succeeded thanks to their playing chess in school and continued playing alongside their professional development.”


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